Mountain View Independent Methodist Church
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
God is good ALL the time... and ALL the time, God is good!!

Year 2018 - January thru March

 
 

 

 

 
 

+++ The Christian Banner - March 2018 +++

 

 

Top 5 Spiritual Questions Asked of Billy Graham in 2017

Question# 1: Are we living in the last times? 

Answer: The Bible warns us against making precise predictions about the exact time of Jesus’ return—but His return is certain, and we may well be living in the last days before He comes again. The Bible says, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here” (Romans 13:12). 

Shortly before returning to Heaven Jesus told His disciples that someday He would come back to establish His Kingdom. But before that could take place, He said, certain things would have to happen—and we see many of these today. For example, He said that before His return the Gospel must be preached throughout the world (see Mark 13:10). Never before has this been possible -- but now it is, through radio and the Internet and other modern means of communication. 

You also have placed your finger on another sign Jesus gave: Satan’s final attempt to halt God’s work through a massive onslaught of evil. Our world is no stranger to evil; Satan has always been working to stop God’s plans. But God’s enemies now have access to modern weapons of mass destruction, and no one can predict what the outcome will be. Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. … Nation will rise against nation” (Matthew 24:6-7). 

The real question, however, is this: Are you ready for Christ’s return? You can be, by turning to Him and putting your faith and trust in Him. Don’t take His warnings lightly, but commit your life without delay to Jesus Christ. 

www.billygraham.org ~ copied article (Question# 2 will be in our April 2018 issue)

+++ 

"No Time"... 

There's a loving letter I meant to send...
There's a visit I mean to pay
There's a careless habit I hope to mend,
When I get time someday. 

There's a dusty Bible I mean to read
There's an hour I'll keep to pray..
I'll turn each dream to a golden deed,
When I get the time someday. 

I'll carry flowers to the sick and sad,
I'll seek for those who stray
You can trace my steps by hearts made glad,
When I get the time someday. 

So somebody thought, so somebody said,
But wasn't it just a crime?
Too busy with less important things..
They never did get the time. 

Author Unknown, found in 1987 Farmer’s Almanac complimentary copy ~ copied article 

+++ 

The Best Pruning 

In order to keep plants blooming they will need a lot of pruning, to cut away the dead so the new can come shining through. The longer this vital step is delayed the more difficult it takes for the new growth to be displayed. Pruning is a delicate process and if it's done wrong it will not bring success.  

The same holds true for us too, God will cut away the things that tend to lead us astray. It may be a dark time when things are cut away and we may feel like we've lost the light of day. Being pruned is no fun, we like it better when we're basking in the sun, no dark clouds or rain to hinder our day just going along in our own selfish ways. But when the process is complete the restoration is so sweet, we take on a new form after we have come through the storm. God cut away the bad and gave us the best pruning we ever had in order for us to bloom so the world would not consume. The diseased parts that were growing in our hearts now have a brand new start, love replaces hate, kindness is our fate and what God does there's no room left for debate. He replaces the bad with the good and we have the desire to do only what we should.  

New growth takes control and His love fills our soul, we can bloom at our best even when we're put to the test. When He is the Master Gardener of your heart then blooming will be the best part, the beauty He has instilled will forever be sealed. So bloom for Him each and every day so your life for Him will be on full display. The beautiful colors will come shining through because of the pruning that was way overdue.  

Written and submitted by: Jean Hunt, February 7, 2018 

+++

Faith under Fire in Las Vegas 

Taylor Benge was one of the survivors of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, that took the lives of 58 people (who were either shot or trampled upon), and injured 546. 

In an interview with CNN, Benge talked about what happened during the shooting, its aftermath, and how all of it had impacted his faith. Quite often when people experience this level of trauma, their confidence in God’s sovereignty is suddenly challenged. While they fully believe that God can do anything, they wonder (either out loud, or in their hearts) why God didn’t step in and stop this horrendous thing from happening. 

Taylor Benge had quite the opposite experience. 

While he was speaking to the news reporter, Taylor was clearly shaken by the dark events of that evening (as anyone in his position would be). A former agnostic, he talked about the radical change in his belief system that was provoked by the massacre of human life all around him. 

“I was agnostic going into that concert, and I’m a firm believer in God now,” Taylor told CNN, “because there’s no way that all of that happened, and that I made it, and I was blessed enough to still be here alive talking to you today.” 

He was at the concert with his sister, who threw herself on top of him as the shooter sprayed the crowd with large caliber bullets (commonly used for hunting deer). The shooter’s “tricked out” rifles enabled them to be used as assault weapons, which were then able to unload dozens of rounds per minute. 

“My sister and I, we started running to the left and every time they shot, we took cover,” Benge said. “My sister, being as noble as she is, she actually threw herself on top of me,” he added, “and was saying, ‘I love you, Taylor, I love you.’ And I’ll never forget that.” 

His sister’s heroism, repeated expressions of love, and the fact that both of them survived the ordeal unscathed created in Taylor a new belief in a good God. He had discovered a new sense of completion is his soul. 

www.reallifedownloaded.com, 12/03/17 teacher’s lesson aid ~ copied article 

+++ 

God’s Recall 

Sometimes we can receive a recall notification in the mail about our vehicles. In most cases, it’s a part that needs to be replaced for our own safety. If we don’t get it replaced we could possibly end up facing serious consequences, maybe even death. 

There has never been a recall as great as the recall God sent out at Calvary. It was a recall to “whosoever” will come. It was about a defective navigation system we have that must be replaced before it takes us down the road of no return. There is no charge for the replacement either. 

We may think that our modern day navigation system is something new. That is only a myth, for Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. The greatest navigation system ever installed was on the day of Pentecost when God installed His Holy Spirit into the hearts of all believers. Just as Jesus said, “I am the door…” John 10:9a. It can be said that Jesus is the only navigation system to Heaven. As I think of a navigation system, I immediately think of the born again experience Jesus said we must have to make it to Heaven. I had Jesus’ navigation system installed forty-eight years ago at the altar and it’s still working today! Occasionally I make a wrong turn, immediately my navigation system starts working on an alternate route to get me back on the right course. Sometimes that alternate route may include a return trip to the altar. 

God’s navigation system is powered by God’s Word. It offers directions for every decision we will ever have to make. It will guide you in the words you speak, the company you keep and the thoughts you think. It’s simply a system with a goal of directing a person into territory that God can bless, and ultimately to the place Jesus said He is preparing for us in Heaven. 

Written and submitted by: Richard Lewallen 02/26/18 

+++ 

Rev. Billy Graham Quotes
(Earthly Arrival: 11/07/1918 – Heavenly Arrival: 02/21/2018, age 99) 

"Some of you today are going through heartache and grief so intense that you wonder if it will ever go away. But I want to tell you that our God cares for you and for your family and for your city. For God loves you, and he shares in your suffering." 

"We've always needed God from the very beginning of this nation, but today we need him especially. We're facing a new kind of enemy, we're involved in a new kind of warfare, and we need the help of the spirit of God." 

“Someday your life will be over, no matter how much attention you give to your health. Will you look back with regret, because you nourished your body but starved your soul?” 

“The most thrilling thing about heaven is that Jesus Christ will be there. I will see Him face to face. Jesus Christ will meet us at the end of life’s journey.” 

"The Lord said, 'I will never forsake you.' No matter how sinful we are, how bad we are, God loves us. ...I believe he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us because he loves us, and he doesn't have any termination to that love." 

“I'm counting totally and completely on the Lord Jesus Christ, and not on Billy Graham. I'm not going to Heaven because I've read the Bible, nor because I've preached to a lot of people. I'm going to Heaven because of what Christ did." 

"Do I fear death? No. I look forward to death with great anticipation. I am looking forward to seeing God face to face. And that could happen any day." 

“Some day you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God." 

+++ 

A Fun Time at the Lake 

I still remember being young one hot summer day many years ago. My sisters and I wanted to go swimming. My boyfriend drove and we went to High Rock Lake for a fun time. We got there and quickly picked our spot and got into the water. My boyfriend decided to sit up the hill in a clearing and read a book. That was okay because I knew he would help if we had any trouble. We played in the water a while when I got the bright idea to teach my sister Sandy to swim. I told her exactly what she needed to do. I even convinced myself that she could swim back to shore! She was still a scaredy-cat but I finally talked her into getting up on my shoulders. I walked out far enough in the water and turned us around toward the shore. My next step was into a deep hole and we were totally underwater. Sandy’s arms and legs locked around me in a death grip. Sandy wasn’t about to let go of me and panic grabbed hold of me too! 

I was drowning! I still remember some of the many thoughts that flooded my mind: “I can’t believe I’m drowning! How can I drown when I know how to swim? What in the world are Momma and Daddy going to do?” I knew I had to break free from Sandy so I could live. I fought her with all the strength I had. She finally let go of me and I pushed her away. Sandy popped up from the water first and then I came up for air. We both knew we almost drowned. We had enough swimming that day and we gladly headed back home.  

I was terrified of dying that day! I’m grateful to God for allowing us both to survive. I can still remember the many times Mrs. Poole stood up at our church and looked around at the Greene family bench. I can still hear her saying, “Children, I’m praying for you and I want to see you give your hearts to the Lord.” I appreciate all the prayers that she and my loved ones prayed for us kids. It’s a good practice to remember to pray for others because we never know what they may be facing! I look forward to meeting Mrs. Poole and my loved ones in Heaven one day too!  

Do you know for sure that your soul will spend all eternity in Heaven? Please make sure today! 

John 3:16-18 KJV: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” 

Written and submitted by: Pat Lewallen, 02/22/18 

+++ 

Mountain View 
I remember Mountain View
When there only were a few
But God was there 
With all the young and old
Christ led them to His fold.
Oh! What a happy time|
With our Christian friends so dear
Jesus was always near.
With the hallelujah and amens,
With the good old songs,
We knew we could win.
With Christ our Saviour so near
And with the ones we loved so dear.
There are many of them 
That have gone on before,
But praise God, we will meet them
On that happy golden shore! 

Written by: Mary Miller Morris (deceased), Christian Banner October 1972 issue
~ copied article 

 


 
+++ The Christian Banner - February 2018 +++
 
 

 

Almost

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian (Acts 26:28). 

Paul was in bonds.
King Agrippa was in bondage.

Paul was a prisoner of Rome.
King Agrippa was a prisoner of sin.

Paul was innocent before the earthly judge.
King Agrippa was guilty before the Judge of all the earth.

Paul was certain about salvation.
King Agrippa came close but retreated into unbelief.

Paul offered the king eternal life.
King Agrippa declined.

Paul left his meeting with King Agrippa unharmed.
King Agrippa left his meeting with Paul unhelped. 

All the world is divided as were Paul and King Agrippa that day. Some are sure of heaven and are building their lives around eternal things…laying up treasures in heaven where they shall go when their journey is over. Others are so taken with the passing honors and treasures of this world that they are blind to the issues of life that really matter. 

Paul or King Agrippa…which are you?
Are you almost a Christian?

Almost being a Christian is like almost being alive.
Come to Christ and receive Him by faith.

Be an altogether Christian.
It’s the only way to get life all together. 

jvim.com, Today’s Devotional - 12/31/17 ~ Copied 

+++ 

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4 

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine - age 5 

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day." Noelle - age 7 

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate." Nikka – age 6 

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4 

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." Karen - age 7 

+++ 

Still Loving and Caring 

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 

What should have been one of the happiest days of my life ended up being one of the loneliest. Eight days before my graduation from seminary, my wife decided she didn’t want to be married any more. I felt hopeless. When I met my parents on the day before graduation, my mother gave me a card which contained the scripture quoted above. 

Jeremiah wrote this scripture to the Israelites who were exiled in Babylon to give them hope that God had not forgotten them. In my own exile, my time of loneliness and despair, the verse reminded me that I am God’s child. God still loved me and had not forgotten me. 

After the divorce, I resigned from my job and moved back home with my parents. Even in the hardest moments, God was faithful. It took two years, but I eventually found work in a church and even remarried. 

Sometimes when life doesn’t go the way we plan, we may feel that God has forgotten us. But the words of Jeremiah remind us that when we are in our own times of exile — hurt, lonely, afraid — God still loves us and cares about us. 

Today's Prayer

Holy God, thank you for loving us and wanting the best for us. Help us to trust you even when life looks bleak. Amen. 

Upper Room Devotional, 12/29/17, Author: Jason Huffman, Texas ~ Copied Article 

 

+++ 

Don't Wait for the Hearse to Take you to Church: 

BUT IF YOU DO WAIT --- 

You will go regardless of the weather.

You will go regardless of how your family feels.

You will go regardless of the condition of your body.

You will have beautiful flowers, but you will not enjoy them.

Regardless of how good the singing, you will not enjoy it.

Regardless of what the minister may say, it will do you no good.

You will go to the altar, but you will not pray.

You may have a great need, but no one will be able to help you.

You will never be able to attend church again.

There will be relatives and friends there, but you will not worship with them.

You will go regardless of how many hypocrites are there.

You will go regardless of how much you are needed at home or on your job. 

The minister had rather help you now than try to console your loved ones if you die without God. So make it your choice to go to church while you have a choice. 

Author Unknown ~ Copied Article 

+++ 

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:26-28 (KJV) 

+++ 

Lifespan of 31,977 Days

My mom, Mary Snider Greene, was born May 25, 1930 and died December 10, 2017. I used TimeAndDate.com to calculate her lifespan. Mom lived 87 years, 6 months and 16 days for a total of 31,977 days. That’s a short lifespan when compared to eternity. I’m glad Jesus was willing to be born into this world to die and shed His precious blood to cover our sins. Jesus willingly gave His life on an old rugged cross so we could have eternal life in Heaven! Mom accepted Jesus as her Savior many years ago. Alzheimer’s won the battle, but thanks to Jesus, she won the war! I can rejoice because I know Mom’s happy and living in Heaven now! 

Mom already had some dementia when my brother Ricky died July 15, 2009. Medicine helped Mom until the dementia worsened and it became a rough journey for Mom and us kids too. We did our best to keep Mom at home and take care of her. In May 2015, Mom started going to a wonderful adult day program, StayWell Senior Care in Asheboro. Mom’s health continued to decline and she was placed at Cross Road Community Center, Alzheimer’s Care, on December 18, 2015. Mom was loved by many there and received very good care. We visited her often and spent time sharing our love and memories with her. 

Mom is a cherished jewel in my life! I want to hug her and tell her I love her. I didn’t know I would miss her so much! Alzheimer’s is a horrible and cruel disease. I know the pain and heartache it brings. I’m praying that a cure for Alzheimer’s will be found in my lifetime! 

Valentine’s Day is February 14th. Please remember those you love and have a special place in your heart on Valentine’s Day. On second thought, you don’t have to wait. Start today! Any day becomes a special day when I’m told I’m loved and appreciated! Those you love will only know it if you express your love for them. This earthly life, at the very longest, will be short. Be sure to take time and tell them you love them! Don’t put it off - tell them while they’re still living! 

James 4:14 (KJV) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 

Written by: Pat Greene Lewallen, 01/10/18  

+++ 

Jesus Wept 

When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. John 11:33-35 (NIV) 

The phone call came in the middle of an ordinary morning. The caller was almost incoherent, overcome with grief. “Ricky is dead.” 

Ricky was my nephew. It was a freak accident, and now a young man who was loved and who loved so freely was gone. He left behind a wife, stepsons, grandchildren, a mother, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends. I struggled to make sense of it; I wanted to find a word of comfort for his mother. I wanted words of consolation for myself and for others who were hurting. 

I found the words I needed in the passage about Lazarus in John 11: “Jesus wept” — just two words but they were enough to remind me that God grieves with us. I didn’t need the why of Ricky’s death; I didn’t need answers. What I needed was to weep with those who were weeping. The pastor’s words during the service celebrating Ricky’s life were powerful. He reminded us that, as in the story of Lazarus, Christ brings us hope when we see no hope. Even in a time of grief, the promise of eternal life gives us strength to rejoice. 

The Upper Room, Jan 2, 2018 devotional by: Jean Bonin (Alberta, Canada)
~ copied article
 

+++ 

“In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln 

+++ 

Can’t Take Them Back 

Kelli picked up her cellphone, and heard her brother’s voice. “Hey, Kelli, we’re going to be up in your neck of the woods for a football game this weekend. Would it be OK if we camped out at your place for a couple of nights? Sorry this is so last-minute.” 

“Oh. Ah, sure, Ryan. I think that would be OK. Oh, so you have to bring the dog because you have no one to watch it? Well, I hope he will get along with our two. Right, we will see you late Friday night.” 

As Kelli put the phone down, she immediately began ranting to her husband, “I can’t believe they wait until the last minute to ask us – it would have been nice if they had gotten their act together for a change and planned ahead! And they are bringing that loud-mouthed dachshund of theirs! All he does is bark, bark, bark. Well, there go our plans for a quiet, relaxing weekend.” 

Then Kelli looked down – in horror – to see that she hadn’t disconnected the call when she thought she had hung up. 

“Uh, Ryan? You still there?” 

‘Yeah, Kelli, I am.” 

“I’m so sorry, Ryan. I am just tired, and my frustration came pouring out….” 

Can you imagine how embarrassed Kelli felt at this point? She couldn’t control her tongue for even a minute after having that conversation, and Ryan was able to hear how his sister really felt about his upcoming visit. 

Oh, how our tongue gets us into trouble! It’s so small, but it can create anger and resentment, and ruin relationships. Words can’t be taken back. Often they are ingrained forever in a person’s mind. However, what cannot be brought under control by mere human strength can be accomplished by the Holy Spirit if those who are humble will see their need for divine intervention. 

David C. Cook – Adult Teacher’s Lesson Guide – 02/11/18 ~ Copied article 

+++ 

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. 

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

+++ 

I think the greatest benefit to having a big family, especially a family with five or more children, is that it's harder to be selfish. In today's prosperous world, it's hard to teach our children sacrifice. ~ Lisa Whelchel

+++ 

We cannot live a perfect day, without doing something for someone, who will never be able to repay you. ~ John Wooden

+++ 

An older lady was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk. "Only the Ten Commandments," she said. 

+++ 

Whatever you are going through – GOD already knows! 

 

 

 
 
+++ The Christian Banner - January  2018 +++
 
 

 

 The Ten Commandments 

The Ten Commandments were written by God upon two tablets of stone and then given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Most scholars date this event around the 13th or 14th century BC. God gave the Decalogue, or 10 Commandments, to the Israelites shortly after they left Egypt. The record of the Ten Commandments can be found in the Bible, both in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

01. You shall have no other gods before Me.
02. You shall make no idols.
03. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
04. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
05. Honor your father and your mother.
06. You shall not murder.
07. You shall not commit adultery.
08. You shall not steal.
09. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet. 

(www.BibleInfo.com ~ Copied Article)

+++ 

Question:

Does God still expect us to keep the Ten Commandments? Aren't they a bit out of date, since they're thousands of years old and the world is so much different today? 

Answer:

The Ten Commandments are just as valid today as when God gave them to Moses over 3,000 years ago. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law” (Matthew 5:18). 

Yes, it’s true we live in a much different world. But if anything, this means we need the Ten Commandments even more, for we live in a time of great moral and spiritual confusion. How can we know what is right or wrong? There are only two ways: either we make it up on our own–or we depend on God to show us. But God knows what is best for us, and when we reject His will for us, we end up in moral and spiritual chaos. 

Have you honestly looked carefully at the Ten Commandments? (You can find them in Exodus 20:1-17.) When you do, you may be surprised just how brief they are–but also how much they cover. Don’t we all benefit when people don’t kill each other, or steal, or dishonor their marriage vows? Of course. But the issue you face isn’t just whether or not you will follow the Ten Commandments. The real issue is what place God has in your life. Have you put Him on the fringes, so to speak? Why? Instead, put God at the center of your life by committing yourself to Christ.

(“My Answer” by: Billy Graham, June 1, 2004 ~ Copied Article)

+++ 

His Amazing Grace 

Living in a world with such perverse thinking, it's no wonder our society is sinking. When the mind is constantly on self and God is put on a shelf, judgment will surely come because there is not much decency left in anyone. God said this would be and we have no one to blame but you and me. Each day is filled with so much glamour and everyone is in a clamor, to gain even more than what they had the day before. Prestige and the almighty dollar seems to be what man tends to follow, not thinking that one day their old earthly body will turn back to clay. If they gain the whole world and lose their soul then their fate will be sealed and there's only one place left to go. 

All the money that can be gained won't be worth an eternity of anguish and pain. My prayer is and always will be that God will open blinded eyes that they may see. He sent His Only Son into a world that was lost and undone in hopes that we could see He made a better way for you and me. I choose Him even though this world is growing dim and I am going to a better place because I have been saved by His amazing grace. 

(Written by: Jean Hunt, 12/02/17)

+++ 

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Peace — what a good word it is! Yet, millions seek it in vain at the bottom of a bottle, at the end of a needle, or in the accumulation of money and property. Peace is received through faith in the Prince of Peace. And that makes it available to you today. 

+++ 

Dear Lord, I know you are there! In the morning, in the evening, in the long nights, I know I am not alone. Please make your presence known to me this day as I seek to honor you in what I do and say.  -- Amen. 

+++ 

Monopoly

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:11). 

A group of ministers were discussing whether or not they ought to invite Dwight L. Moody to their city. The success of the famed evangelist was brought to the attention of the men as a reason for inviting him. 

One unimpressed minister commented, “Does Mr. Moody have a monopoly on the Holy Ghost?” 

Another quietly replied, “No, but the Holy Ghost seems to have a monopoly on Mr. Moody.” 

Search for the spiritual secret of all great servants of God and you will find it to be total surrender. To Moody, life was the great adventure of finding out what God would do with one who was totally and completely yielded to Him. William Booth saw as his reason for success the fact that God had all there was of him. F. B. Meyer looked back to a time when he gave the keys to every room in his heart to Christ. Paul urged the Christians at Rome to yield their members as instruments of righteousness. In other words, he was calling for the yielding of every hand and heart to the service of Christ and the glory of God. He summed it up with this moving challenge: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). 

We have been furnished with some wonderful examples of all-out dedication in both the Scriptures and in history. What about your personal surrender to the will of God? Are you really willing to do what He wants you to do this very day? 

(jvim.com – Daily Devotional, 03/28/15 ~ Copied Article)

+++ 

Fooled Again! 

Recently, I was reading the morning news online as is my usual habit. I guess “reading” is not exactly the right word I should use. Actually, I scan over the news to see what I want to read. This has become my habit because there’s way too much bad news with only a little good news mingled in. This particular morning, I saw something really interesting! It was a jar of “Reunion Cream.” Oh my, this really peaked my interest! 

I’ve learned, (after having enjoyed lots of birthdays), to go back and look anything over again that appears too good to be true. After I rubbed my eyes and got them back into focus, the jar of Reunion Cream disappeared and a jar of Retinol Cream took its’ place. Of course, my old eyes had me fooled again! 

“And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:4953). The Bible tells me that many people were able to recognize Jesus after His resurrection and in His glorified body. That lets me know that we’ll also be recognizable in our glorified bodies. 

I’ve lost many dear loved ones and friends thus far in my life. Losing those makes me long to see them again! I know “Reunion Cream” isn’t real and isn’t sold on this earth. My heart is truly blessed when I hear the gospel song “My Home.” This beautiful song by “Heirline” talks about Heaven, where there’s going to be “reunions by the millions everywhere!” Hallelujah! One day, I’ll be rejoicing in a Heavenly reunion too! 

(Written by: Pat Lewallen, 12/21/17)

+++ 

Your Last Day 

Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. —1 Thessalonians 5:6 

What if you were told this morning that today was to be your last day on earth? How would you spend its fleeting hours? Whom would you insist on seeing? Would your behavior differ radically from what it usually is? 

Someone has wisely said, “You should treat every day as if it’s your last one, because one of these days you’re going to be right.” 

There’s no getting around it. Whether our earthly life ends by accident, illness, the ravages of age, or our Lord’s return, one of these days will be our last. That’s why we should guard so carefully the things we do and the words we say. 

We ought to be tying up the loose ends of long-neglected matters by expressing our love and gratitude to others, by seeking reconciliation with an alienated friend, or by sharing the gospel with a neighbor. 

Perhaps you’ve even been putting off accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior until some more convenient day. But that day may never come. Since your last day on earth can be so unexpected, heed Paul’s inspired words: “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). 

Are you living each day as if it were your last? 

Believe in Christ, redeem the time,
Prepare without delay;
That death is certain should affect
The way you live today. 

What would you change if this day were your last? 

(www.odb.org - 01/09/1995 devotional by: Vernon Grounds ~ Copied Article)

+++ 

Stop Quenching the Spirit 

If we quench a fire, we stop it in its path. If we quench the Holy Spirit, we halt His work in us. We stifle or suppress Him. When you quench the Holy Spirit, you exalt your will above the will of God. To quench the Holy Spirit is to resist Him. It is going your own way when His leading is clear. 

Quenching the Holy Spirit is like changing channels on your television set. It is like turning off the radio to avoid its message. It is turning your mind away from the things you know the Lord wants you to do or say. 

When you stop quenching the Holy Spirit, you will find some wonderful things happening. Your day will unfold as a part of His plan. You will see opportunities that you would otherwise have missed. His calming voice will comfort you when everything seems to be falling apart. Life’s irritations will be recognized as experiences that enable you to be patient and longsuffering. The needs of others will be brought to your attention and you will be refreshed in ministering to them. Having your own way will become less important. Allowing Christ to have His way in your life will receive priority. 

So, stop tuning out that still small voice that always gives the right direction. Lend an obedient ear to the Lord. Be quick to do His bidding. Look for opportunities to follow His leading this very day. Don’t be afraid to be an obedient child. 

Remember, the Lord always gives His best to those who follow Him completely. 

(jvim.com, 11/13/17 ~ Copied Article)

+++ 

The Four Calls 

The Spirit came in childhood and pleaded, “Let me in,”
But oh! the door was bolted by thoughtlessness and sin;
“I am too young,” the child replied, “I will not yield today;
There’s time enough tomorrow.” The Spirit went away.
 

Again He came and pleaded in youth’s bright happy hour;
He came but heard no answer, for lured by Satan’s power
The youth lay dreaming then and saying, “Not today,
Not till I’ve tried earth’s pleasures.” The Spirit went away.
 

Again He called in mercy in manhood’s vigorous prime,
But still He found no welcome, the merchant had no time;
No time for true repentance, no time to think or pray,
And so, repulsed and saddened, the Spirit went away.
 

Once more He called and waited, the man was old and ill,
And scarcely heard the whisper, his heart was cold and still;
“Go leave me; when I need thee, I’ll call for thee,” he cried;
Then sinking on his pillow, without a hope, he died!
 

(Written by; J. V. Easton ~ Copied Article)

+++ 

Proverbs 1:24-26 (KJV): Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 

+++ 

Home is not so much a place on a map, as it is a place to belong. God gives us that place.